Berlin - German police said they prevented four known football hooligans from flying to London for Wednesday's Champions League match between Chelsea and Schalke 04.
The quartet, aged between 20 and 24, all held valid tickets for the match at Stamford Bridge, but police stepped in to stop them flying from Cologne/Bonn airport to London's Stansted.
In a statement, federal police said the individuals were "well known as violent football fans and had often been linked to negative aspects at matches in the past. The identities and nationalities of the four were not given.
"It couldn't be ruled out that the group wanted to commit further offences in connection with the game, so for preventative reasons police forbade them from leaving".